Huffington Post: The coming of age story of Iranian immigrants to America was on vivid display at Ellis Island on Saturday night. In 2017, multiple generations of Iranian Americans are highly visible players at the forefront of virtually every industry in America. This year’s Ellis Island Medals of Honor recipients come from the fields of science, medicine, diplomacy, business, women’s health, music, construction, law and telecommunications.
- Cumrun Vafa, is winner of the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
- Dr. Abbas Ardehali, is Director of UCLA’s Heart and Lung Transplants Programs.
- Azita Raji, the first Iranian-born American to serve as a U.S. ambassador.
- Hormoz Ameri is President of Naftex Oil Exploration Group.
- Dr. Shaheen Tedjarati is Gynecologic Oncologist and Professor of Robotic Surgery at New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center.
- Andy Madadian, is an international recording artist also known as “The Persian Bono.”
- Mohammad Farzaneh through the Farzaneh Family Foundation, Mohammad and his brother Jalal have given back to the community, primarily focusing on education.
- Maggie Soleimani is the first Iranian-American woman appointed to two high-profile Commissions in Los Angeles County.
- Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi is Chairman and CEO of 2020 Venture partners and recognized in the scientific community as a leader and technological scientist.
Editorial Note: On May 10, 2014 Davar Ardalan was also a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Ardalan’s grandfather Abol Ghassem Bakhtiar arrived on Ellis Island in 1919 from Iran. You can read her story here on NPR. Ardalan was on the committee that helped recommend some of this year’s Iranian-American nominees.